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John Hendry Park, Trout Lake
PhotogFlickr/Ruth Hartnup

The 10 best parks in Vancouver

Sit, rest and admire the view at these gorgeous parks in Vancouver

Written by
Mikaela Luke
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If there’s one thing that Vancouver has seemingly no end of, it’s greenery. The city boasts the highest concentration of park space in any Canadian urban center, and it’s no doubt that with all the gorgeous weather, these top parks in Vancouver are well used and well loved by all. From acres of forestry to free water parks for kiddos (check out our list of the best beaches in Vancouver too!), Vancouver's many parks are worth exploring. Take a hike, bring your dogs, find a bike trail, or even stumble across a gorgeous view of the city and mountains — these parks may not be go-to landmarks, but they’re definitely among the best Vancouver attractions

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Vancouver 

Best parks in Vancouver

This sprawling Vancouver park is well-known across the world for its iconic location in the downtown peninsula: surrounded by water, full of woodsy trails and creatures, and blessed with views of the mountains. Hang out under the Lion’s Gate Bridge or grab a few tandem bikes and do the entire 8.8-kilometer Sea Wall loop.

Perched on the highest point in Vancouver in the heart of the city, this botanical park gives everyone access to its panoramic views of downtown and the North Shore mountains for free. Go at night to see the twinkling lights of the ski slopes, but also go during the day to walk its paths and admire the flora. The Bloedel Convservatory has exotic plants and birds from the tropics to check out, and there’s also an on-site pitch-and-putt course.

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Right along Coal Harbour lies a rolling lawn of green grass, tempting anyone looking to rest their legs as they walk through downtown or stop for a snack before jumping on the Sea Wall with their bikes. A long stretch of benches dots the path through the park, perfect for watching seaplanes and sailboats pull up on the dock.

An oasis of tranquility, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden was the first full-scale Chinese garden built outside of China. There’s a free, public section or you can pay admission to see the entire space—tours are included with your ticket fare as is complementary jasmine tea. Take in the jade-green koi ponds and intricate Chinese pottery while keeping your eyes peeled for herons and turtles too.

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If you need the kids to burn off some steam, take them to the largest free water park on the continent. Located on Granville Island, the water park lets littles run and squeal through spouts of water and mock-rivers while adults can roll out a blanket and tan on the grass. With its bright yellow waterslide and adjacent playground, this park is impossible to miss, and a great place to chill with the whole family before doing some shopping at the public market or feeding the resident geese on the island. 

A former railway corridor turned public path, Arbutus Greenway covers 8.5 kilometers (the width of Vancouver) right through the city. Bike, walk, or rollerblade your way through neighborhoods like Kerrisdale, West 4th and even Granville Island. It’s totally car-free, making it perfect for a run with furry friends; Reward them with a frolic at Kits Beach at the end of the path.

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What is it: An East Vancouver park with all the year-round lake activities — fishing, swimming, ice skating — you could wish for. In the summer, the park also offers a farmers’ market, live outdoor concert series, and a sandy stretch of beach. Even the autumn days boast beautifully colored foliage, making for a crisp and gorgeous stroll.

Headed out at night?

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